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The Crib

PURE Design Environments

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  • Jaque Bethke

Project Status



39,000 sq. feet

Room or Space



Design Awards

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Project Description

Often, the relationship between the interior and exterior is overlooked. In this design, that connection was the main goal. At roughly 5,000 square feet, we aimed to create additional living area within the home’s exterior environment. Challenged with a 10’ backyard of steady incline to preserved wildlife, we needed to carve out space for entertaining, while honoring the DNR’s strict conservation regulations. Great retaining wall solutions carry hefty price tags. We wanted a luxurious but cost effective solution. Using interlocking retaining wall block ‘seconds’ we functionally laid out our desired shape for the back yard entertaining space, and executed the luxurious aspect with finishing work. To the finished walls, we affixed Corten steel for its stable finish and low maintenance properties. 18gauge material was cut to length offsite. We added a furring strip underneath the capstones and mounted the steel by overlapping panels from one end of the wall to the other. We then topped it off with a chiseled edge limestone cap. Our custom patina was developed through application of magnesium chloride, and exposure it to the sun. Lastly, we finished it with an automotive-grade polyurethane clear coat for protection. We carried this technique to the underside of the deck, to create continuity between spaces. The soft curves of this metal wall inspired our deck railing design. With a desire to create a connection between the two, we incorporated the rustic metal finish into the railing details. The angular footprint and deck design demanded softness. So we hand-fabricated rails. ¼” plate steel posts, connect with horizontal bars of 5/8” hot rolled solid rounds, cold formed into radius bends. The result is an original landscape and design element that ties the outside to the rich luxurious finishes inside, and compliments the site’s long-reaching views.
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